A MOTHER-OF-TWO from Ashton had the shock of her life when two sinkholes appeared in her back garden.
Cathy Im, who moved from Mossley to a new home on the Hazelhurst Estate 16 months ago, was puzzled when a chair mysteriously tipped over.
After investigating, Cathy found it had partially disappeared down a one metre square hole which had appeared on her lawn.It happened on the eve of a trip to Blackpool and on her return, Cathy found the chair had completely disappeared from view and a second sinkhole had appeared directly outside her back door.
Cathy, who lives on Ashbourne Drive, reported the incident to Jigsaw Homes who immediately sent somebody out to inspect the holes.
She said: “The maintenance man was flabbergasted and told me it was not safe to use the garden.
“He put a fence around the holes but there was a gap underneath which was so big my two children and myself could easily squeeze under.
“My two-year-old son, on seeing the metal fence, asked why the garden was in jail?”
Cathy, unhappy how the sinkholes were left, contacted The Correspondent and local councillor Mike Glover who she said was “gobsmacked” by what he saw.
She believes there are underlying problems in the area with an underground water course.
Cathy explained: “Every time it rains my garden floods and neighbours also get blocked toilets and drains all the time.
“One neighbour has a portable loo in their garden as their toilet blocks so often.”
Cathy added she was told a stream once ran at the rear of the houses before new property was built after which the water course disappeared.
Matthew George, Jigsaw Homes’ operations director (asset management), said: “We were made aware of a sinkhole appearing in the garden of one of our properties.
“Our repairs team attended immediately and sectioned the area off for safety reasons.
“A further inspection has been arranged so we can take appropriate action, which we believe is linked to a defective section of drain. We will keep the tenant updated once the inspection has been carried out.”